John Olsen
Recent Works 2004

19 Oct - 6 Nov 2004
Tim Olsen Gallery

A typical Olsen painting combines an implied aerial view with an ambiguous and seemingly unpremeditated figuration. His characteristically quizzical line and and irregular squiggles and dots deftly render countless organisms, large and minute. Their environment is conjured through loosely brushed and stained expanses of colour (on canvas or hardboard) That are keyed to natural light. Even when he is referring to the outback landscape, usually noted for its austerity and inhospitality, Olsen's imagery teems with life. Yet the same lines sometimes read as geological mappings. In Olsen's work there is no foreground/ middle ground/ background schema, nor any sign of European landscape's concern with "human scale." Instead he employs simultaneously the contrary vantages of naturalist and geographer or, to put it another way, the viewpoints of frog and eagle.

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